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Viacom (VIAB) to Expand Foothold in Europe with Paramount+

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Leading media and film entertainment firm Viacom Inc. (VIAB - Free Report) has decided to expand its operations in the Scandinavia region of Europe, per a report by The Hollywood Reporter. Viacom International Media Networks, a division of Viacom, plans to offer a new subscription video-on-demand (SVOD) -- Paramount+ -- in Denmark, Sweden and Norway from October 2017.

The Paramount+ package will combine Paramount films (both first pay TV window and classic) along with approximately 800 episodes of series from Viacom networks including Comedy Central and MTV. A number of pay-TV operators will offer Viacom’s TV package including YouSee, Telenor/Canal Digital, Com Hem and Get. Notably, Paramount+ is the first TV package offering by Viacom which will combine its first-run Paramount films with Viacom TV series in an SVOD platform.

Facing stiff competition and dwindling advertisement revenues, the media sector is witnessing large scale concentration. Discovery Communications Inc. (DISCA - Free Report) has decided to acquire lifestyle media giant Scripps Networks Interactive Inc. in a $14.6 billion ($11.9 billion excluding debt) deal which is expected to be closed in early 2018.

Meanwhile, the $85.4 billion mega merger deal of AT&T Inc. (T - Free Report) and Time Warner Inc. is currently under review by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and competition authorities in other foreign countries. The deal is likely to be closed by the end of 2017.

Viacom is leaving no stone unturned to change its fortunes. In order to combat the challenges, Viacom unveiled a new strategic plan in February 2017. As part of the five-point plan, it is focusing on six of its core brands-- BET, Comedy Central, MTV, Nickelodeon, Nick Jr. and Paramount. At this stage, we believe expansion of operations in Europe will bode well for the company in the future.

Price Performance of Viacom

Viacom’s shares have declined 16.91% compared with the industry’s loss of a mere 0.34% in the last three months. The company currently holds a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

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